H1b extension and h4 cos filing before i94 expiry

Hi Anil,

My i94 is expiring on Aug 2. Client is providing only 1 month contract extension because of budget constraints. My employer is planning to apply extension in normal processing with plan of finding new work (within a month) and apply amendment for the new client.

  1. Is this a bridge scenario?
  2. If extension #1 is denied in another 2 months, would i accrue unlawful presence from i94 expiry date?
  3. Would extension #1 denial/RFE poses any risk to amendment #2?
  4. As a backup plan to avoid going back to country or to avoid accruing unlawful presence, can i apply H4 COS in parallel to my h1 extension and amendment.
  5. If #4 is possible, can i also apply H4 ead along with h4 cos? (me and my wife both have i140)

What might be best option to go for in this situation?

All extension filed after i94 while an extension filed before i94 is pending will be counted as bridge petitions.

You will start unlawful presence after denial if your i94 has already expired by that time and no application is pending at that time.

Any bridge application will be affected if the first one is denied.

You can file H4 COS and H4 EAD before i94 expiry.

Thank you for immediate response Anil!

So in couple of months time. i could see myself having 3 petitions getting processed parallel…

  1. Extension
  2. Amendment+Extensio
  3. H4 COS

Are H1 and H4 COS are independent of each other? Or would there be chance of getting RFE in H4 COS because of ongoing extensions and vice verse?

Hi @gopi

H1B and H4 COS are processed independently but there could be status issues based on which one gets approved last.

Thanks Anil!
When filling form I-539, can i leave the start date as blank with an assumption that once approved, my H4 start date would be from the approval date? If this is valid assumption, then what about the days between i94 expiry and the H4 start date? are these considered unlawful?

Hi @gopi

You have to give start date.